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Hoover cylinder vacuum cleaner, late 1960s

Appliances such as vacuum cleaners were still quite rare and costly in rural Ireland until the end of the 1960s. Cylinder models started to replace the upright vacuum cleaners because the hose could reach further underneath furniture and came with a selection of nozzles for specialised tasks like vacuuming curtains and corners.
An American brand founded in the 1910s, Hoover was best known for its tagline ‘It beats as it sweeps as it cleans’. It opened a British subsidiary in the 1930s, which sold its range of innovative vacuum cleaner designs into the British and Irish markets. The brand’s popularity meant that the term ‘hoover’ has become synonymous with vacuum cleaners in both Ireland and Britain.
The Hoover 427 vacuum cleaner came in a range of bright colours, including mustard and blue, and was produced until the early 1980s. An example of robust design, this example was donated to the National Museum of Ireland by Dr. Lydia Foy in the early 2000s.
Listen to Catherine Marshall talking about vacuuming in the 1960s:
Catherine Marshall interviewed by Sorcha O’Brien in Dublin, November 2017


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